Simonton recognized by J.D. Power
For a third straight year, consumers nationwide have rated Simonton Windows highest in customer satisfaction in the J.D. Power and Associates 2012 Windows and Patio Doors Satisfaction Study.
“Receiving this ranking for the third consecutive year is a milestone for us,” said Mark Savan, president of Simonton Windows. “Most importantly, it showcases the dedication and loyalty of our associates, our distribution partners and their customers.”
The J.D. Power and Associates customer study for windows and patio doors was created in 2007. Since that time, the research has identified key areas of interest to homeowners related to their window and patio door purchasing decisions.
Recall on two lighting fixtures
The Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) has announced a voluntary recall of two mounted lighting fixtures, one an indoor ceiling fixture and the other an outdoor lantern.
The ceiling mounted light fixture was manufactured by Thomas Lighting, of Elgin, Ill., part of Philips Consumer Luminaires Corp. Manufactured in China, the fixture was sold at electrical distributors and lighting wholesalers nationwide from July 2010 through July 2011. The recall involves 28 different models and 83,750 products.
The fixture’s socket wire insulation can degrade, leading to charged wires becoming exposed, causing electricity to pass to the metal canopy of the fixture. This poses a fire and electric shock hazard to consumers. No injuries have been reported. Visit Thomaslighting.com for more information.
The second recall product, an outdoor wall mount lantern imported by Bel Air Lighting Inc. of Valencia, Calif., was also manufactured in China. It was sold at Lowe’s and lighting showrooms nationwide from June 2006 through May 2012.
An electrical short circuit can occur in the lanterns’ internal wiring, posing a risk of fire, burn and electric shock to consumers. The company has received seven reports of incidents, including two reports of lanterns catching fire. No injuries were reported.
About 99,700 lanterns were sold under the Portfolio brand name. For more information about the recall, visit www.regcen.com/belairlighting.
Georgia law changes franchisor-franchisee relationship
A new Georgia law effective July 1 provides that people who are parties to franchise agreements are not to be considered employees for purposes of workers’ compensation benefits. The legislation essentially protects franchisors from comp claims by franchisees.
The new law covers individuals “who are parties to a franchise agreement as set out by the Federal Trade Commission franchise disclosure rule, and deems that the relationship between franchisors and franchisees is governed by the rules of contract law, not those of employment law.
The International Franchise Association (IFA), which backed the bill, said it was the first such legislation in the nation.
“We applaud Georgia legislators for being the first state to formally recognize that the franchisee/franchisor relationship represents a contractual business relationship, not an employment relationship,” said IFA Senior Vice President of Government Relations & Public Policy Judith Thorman. “As a result of this law, franchising will continue to thrive as a growing economic force in the Georgia economy across many business lines including restaurants, hotels, automotive, health care, business and personal services, and real estate, among other business sectors.”
The law comes on the heels of closely watched litigation involving franchisors and franchisees in other states. In Massachusetts, for example, a court ordered a janitorial franchise called Coverall to pay $3 million in franchise fees to 100 people, mostly immigrants, whom it misclassified as franchisees.
Coverall issued a statement that it “still believes its franchised owners are independent business owners and not employees; as such, they operate their commercial cleaning service businesses, maintaining accounts and hiring independently.”
Diane Cadrain is an attorney who has been writing about employment law issues for more than 20 years.
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